How to Buy an African Grey Parrot: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re considering buying an African Grey Parrot, there are a few things you should know before making a purchase.

African Grey Parrots are known for their intelligence, sociability, and ability to mimic human speech, which makes them a popular choice among pet bird owners.

But owning an African Grey Parrot requires a significant amount of time, effort, and resources, so it’s important to do your research before making a commitment.

When it comes to buying an African Grey Parrot, there are a few different options available.

You can purchase a bird from a pet store, a breeder, or an individual seller.

Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.

Pet stores may offer a wider selection of birds, but they may not have the same level of knowledge and expertise as a breeder.

Breeders may have a more limited selection, but they may be able to provide you with more information about the bird’s history and health.

Individual sellers may be more flexible on price, but you may not have the same level of protection as you would with a pet store or breeder.

Choosing the Right African Grey Parrot

When it comes to choosing the right African Grey parrot, there are a few things you need to consider. Here are some factors that will help you make an informed decision.


The age of the African Grey parrot is an important factor to consider. If you want a bird that is easy to train and bond with, it’s best to get a young bird. Younger birds are more adaptable and can learn new things quickly. However, if you want a bird that is already trained and has developed its personality, an older bird may be a better choice.


African Grey parrots are not sexually dimorphic, which means that it’s difficult to tell the gender just by looking at them. However, there are some subtle differences that can help you determine the gender. Male African Grey parrots tend to have larger heads and beaks, while females have smaller heads and beaks. Males also tend to have a wider space between their legs.

Congo African Grey vs. Timneh African Grey

There are two types of African Grey parrots: the Congo African Grey and the Timneh African Grey. The Congo African Grey is more popular in the pet trade due to its larger size and bright red tail feathers. The Timneh African Grey is smaller and has a darker coloration. Here are some differences between the two:

Congo African GreyTimneh African Grey
Larger sizeSmaller size
Bright red tail feathersDarker coloration
More talkativeLess talkative
More expensiveLess expensive

Ultimately, the choice between a Congo African Grey and a Timneh African Grey comes down to personal preference. Both types make great pets and have their own unique personalities.

When choosing an African Grey parrot, it’s important to take your time and do your research. Consider factors such as age, gender, and type of African Grey. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the right bird for you and your family.

Preparing for Your New African Grey Parrot


Congratulations on your decision to bring home an African Grey Parrot! Before you bring your feathered friend home, it’s important to prepare for their arrival. Here are some things you should consider:


Your African Grey Parrot will spend a lot of time in their cage, so it’s important to choose the right one. The cage should be large enough for your bird to move around comfortably and stretch their wings.

The minimum recommended size for an African Grey Parrot cage is 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 36 inches tall.

Make sure the cage is made of sturdy materials and has a secure lock. Provide perches of different thicknesses and materials, as well as toys for mental stimulation. Avoid using sandpaper or other abrasive materials on the bottom of the cage, as they can damage your bird’s feet.


African Grey Parrots are intelligent birds that need mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Provide your bird with a variety of toys to keep them entertained. Toys that require problem-solving, like puzzle feeders, are great for African Grey Parrots.

Rotate your bird’s toys regularly to keep them from getting bored. Make sure the toys are made of safe materials and do not have any small parts that could be swallowed.

Food and Diet

African Grey Parrots need a balanced diet to stay healthy. Provide your bird with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-quality pellet food. Avoid feeding your bird avocado, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol, as these can be toxic to birds.

Nuts can be given as a treat, but should not make up a large part of your bird’s diet. Make sure your bird always has access to fresh, clean water.

Vet Care

Regular vet care is important for your African Grey Parrot’s health. Find a veterinarian who specializes in avian care and schedule regular check-ups. Your vet can also provide guidance on your bird’s diet and behavior.

Be on the lookout for signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or changes in behavior. African Grey Parrots are susceptible to vitamin-D deficiency, psittacosis, and beak and feather disease, so it’s important to monitor your bird’s health closely.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your African Grey Parrot has a happy and healthy life in their new home.

Training and Bonding with Your African Grey Parrot

If you want to have a happy and well-behaved African Grey Parrot, it’s essential to train and bond with your bird. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Mental Stimulation

African Grey Parrots are intelligent and curious birds that require mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Provide your bird with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied. Rotate their toys regularly to keep them interested and engaged. You can also teach your bird tricks and games to keep their mind active.

Human Speech and Mimicking

African Grey Parrots are famous for their ability to mimic human speech. Spend time talking to your bird every day, using simple words and phrases. Repeat words and phrases frequently to help your bird learn them. Be patient and consistent, and your bird will eventually start to mimic you.

Teaching Words and Phrases

In addition to mimicking human speech, you can also teach your African Grey Parrot specific words and phrases. Start with simple words and phrases like “hello,” “goodbye,” and “I love you.” Use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to encourage your bird to repeat the words and phrases.


Sleep is essential for the health and well-being of your African Grey Parrot. Make sure your bird gets enough sleep by providing a quiet and dark sleeping area. Cover the cage at night to create a cozy and comfortable sleeping environment.


Stress can have a negative impact on your African Grey Parrot’s health and behavior. Avoid loud noises, sudden movements, and other stressors that can upset your bird. Provide a calm and stable environment for your bird to reduce stress and promote good behavior.

Training and bonding with your African Grey Parrot takes time and patience, but it’s well worth the effort. By providing mental stimulation, teaching human speech and mimicking, teaching words and phrases, ensuring proper sleep, and reducing stress, you can build a strong and loving bond with your bird.

Health and Care for Your African Grey Parrot

When you bring home an African Grey Parrot, it’s important to provide it with proper health and care to ensure a long and fulfilling life. Here are some essential things you should know:

Common Health Problems

African Grey Parrots are generally healthy birds, but they can still develop some common health issues. Some of these include:

  • Feather picking: This is a behavioral issue where the bird plucks its own feathers. It can be caused by stress, boredom, or other underlying health problems.
  • Psittacosis: This is a bacterial infection that can cause respiratory problems in birds and humans. It’s important to keep your bird’s cage clean and wash your hands after handling it to prevent the spread of this infection.
  • Beak and feather disease: This is a viral infection that can cause feather loss and beak deformities in birds. There is no cure for this disease, so prevention is key.

To prevent these health problems, make sure your bird has a clean and spacious cage, a healthy diet, and regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian.


African Grey Parrots are intelligent and active birds that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Make sure your bird has plenty of toys and activities to keep it entertained, such as puzzle toys, swings, and perches. You should also provide your bird with at least 2-3 hours of supervised out-of-cage time each day to stretch its wings and explore its surroundings.

Best Age to Buy

When it comes to buying an African Grey Parrot, it’s best to purchase a bird that is at least 6 months old. This is because younger birds are more susceptible to health problems and may require more intensive care. Additionally, older birds may have already developed bad habits or behavioral issues that can be difficult to correct.

Other Considerations

In addition to the above, here are some other things to keep in mind when caring for your African Grey Parrot:

  • Cage cover: African Grey Parrots need plenty of sleep, so make sure their cage is covered at night to provide a dark and quiet environment.
  • Eyes and legs: Regularly check your bird’s eyes and legs for any signs of injury or infection.
  • Alex: African Grey Parrots are known for their high intelligence and are capable of learning a large vocabulary. Consider providing your bird with training and socialization to help it thrive.
  • Family pet: African Grey Parrots can make wonderful family pets, but they require a lot of time and attention. Make sure you have the resources and commitment to provide your bird with the care it needs.


Buying an African Grey parrot can be a rewarding and entertaining experience for you. However, it is important to consider several factors before making a purchase. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Origin: African Greys are native to dense forests of West and Central Africa, including countries like Cameroon, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Kenya.
  • Behavior: African Greys are intelligent birds and can be tamed with consistent training and socialization. They are known for their ability to mimic human sounds and voices, and can be quite entertaining pets.
  • Gender: Males and females have similar personalities and behaviors, so it’s up to personal preference when choosing a bird.
  • Diet: African Greys should be fed a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Some recommended foods include sweet potato, kale, arugula, sprouts, hemp, flaxseed, and breakfast toast.
  • Lifespan: African Greys can live up to 40 to 60 years, so it’s important to consider the long-term commitment before making a purchase.
  • Health: African Greys are prone to respiratory infections, so it’s important to provide a clean living environment and regular vet check-ups.
  • Psittacus erithacus: This is the scientific name for the African Grey parrot species.
  • Online: You can find reputable breeders and pet stores online, but it’s important to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase.
  • Entertainment: African Greys are social birds and require regular interaction and stimulation to prevent boredom. Providing toys, puzzles, and a variety of perches can help keep them entertained.

Overall, buying an African Grey parrot can be a wonderful addition to your home. By considering the factors mentioned above and providing a loving and stimulating environment, you can have a happy and healthy pet for many years to come.

How to Buy an African Grey Parrot: A Comprehensive Guide

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